N[athan] Williams to [Ambrose] Spencer, [c4 February 1820]
It is due to Genl. Brown & also to the inoffensiveness of my own motives at least, that I should state, that I have no doubt the observations in relation to your conversation with Genl. Brown which have appeared in the public prints, originated from some familiar communications made by me, and I feel equally with you, hurt & surprised at the use which has been made of them. Although from the explanation since given to your expressions, and as I understand by your authority, I am bound to consider that I misunderstood your words, yet I will not conceal that I was fully impressed with the idea, that the sentiments you uttered were familiar to those reported in the Argus. But when I rehearsed the remarks, it was merely accidental that I coupled them with your name; because I had repeatedly heard the same sentiments from other persons, and indeed considered them as literally walking the streets.
As this brief statement places the responsibility of what has transpired, on me, who have innocently incurred it, & removes, as it ought, from Genl. Brown, the least participation in what has so unexpectedly swelled into a matter of importance, I shall be glad if you will make use of this letter in such a way as the most extensively to effect the object.
I am very respectfully